8/29/2012 03:53:00 PM

New StrEAT Brew Truck and 5 Other Reasons We Love StrEAT Food Park

A new permanent beer-and-wine truck is coming to SoMa StrEAT Food Park.
There’s plenty to love about SoMa StrEAT Food Park, San Franciscan’s first-ever permanent street food pod, which has been a hit since it opened back in May. Now two months into the venture, we checked in with founder Carlos Muela and found six great reasons to make this funky corner of the city a regular stop in our lives.

1. StrEAT Brew: A Permanent Beer and Wine Truck
Nothing enhances an Indian burrito or a blackened fish sandwich than the ability to enjoy it with a frosty brew or stiff cocktail. To that end, The Boothby Center has been popping up on the site on the weekends to dispense cocktails to the crowd. But by mid-September, the park will be unveiling a new permanent beer and wine truck, tentatively to be called StrEAT Brew. The truck, currently a blank white trailer parked at the back towards the left of the latrines, will eventually emerge with a fresh paint job and a selection of local beer and wine, along with sangria, mimosas and other wine-based cocktails. (No hard alcohol). Eventually, Muela hopes to coordinate the drinks and food trucks around different themes. Until the truck opens, the Boothy Center bartenders will continue to hold court on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

2. Free Giants/49-iner Games, Food Network and Movies
Whether your personal obsession veers towards watching your favorite chef’s reality show or seeing if the Giants can cinch a spot in the pennant race, StrEAT Park’s two large-format flat-screen TVs projecting the Food and Travel Networks by day and sports games in the evening has got you covered. Come, fall, Muela hopes to begin screening movies and host other special events such as Taco Tuesdays or mimosa weekend brunch that tie together the food truck offerings and specially paired drinks. And if shopping’s your thing, the park occasionally host mobile clothing vendors as well.

3. Helps You Think Outside the (Take-Out) Box
Lunch service is the park’s most popular time. Nearly 600 to 2,000 customers stream through the site on a typical day. Who can blame them? Not only is most of the food organic or at least thoughtfully sourced (as opposed to your corner Lee’s Deli), but the diverse, ever-changing roster of trucks hawking everything from Southern-inspired smoked brisket sliders to an old world-style chicken schnitzelwich allows worker bees to break out of their chow-mein rut. Workmates don’t even need to agree on “Chinese” or “sandwiches.”

4. Creature Comforts Like Covered Heated Alfresco Seating
We love to chase down our favorite taco truck or mobile pizzeria, but squatting on the sidewalk or against a chain link fence, not so much. StrEAT Food Park’s fully enclosed and heated barn, which offers picnic-table style seating for up to 300 sitting down (and 500 standing up), is surprisingly comfortable and warm. We ate dinner there a few nights ago at 9:30 PM and it was downright toasty, despite the fog. Bonus points for providing an ATM, clean bathrooms and bike parking on site.

5. Kid Friendly
Sure, the street-food-movement mostly caters to Downtown workers ISO of a quick cubicle escape or hipsters joneseing for a post-bar nosh, but any parent will tell you that the something-for-everything food option PLUS free TV and Wi-Fi combination is pure heaven when you’ve got kids with short attention spans who refuse to  agree on what to eat. So when you want spicy Korean and your kids just want a hot dog (albeit an overpriced organic one for $8.50), StrEAT Food Park saves the day. Add in beer and wine onsite (see above) and it’s perfectly heavenly. PS. It’s pet-friendly too.

6. All-Day Hours

While some folks like roaming across town to find their favorite food vendor that will only be parked from 11: 05 to 1:15 in some random parking lot, some of us appreciate a sure thing. Call us old fashioned, but we love the stability of knowing that if we show up at the intersection of 11th and Bryant, we’ll always find something tasty to eat.  (Picky types can check the website daily for the exact list of vendors each day-they switch at lunch and dinner).

Important Update: After a few successful weeks of serving from midnight until 4am, the park is not currently operating its after-hours, late-night market shift. Apparently, Muela didn’t have the correct permits, so he’s back to the drawing board reapplying for the right ones.

SoMa StrEAT Food Park: 428 11th and Byrant Streets, open daily, weekdays from 11 AM-3 PM and 5 PM-11 PM, weekends continuously from 11 AM-10 PM, and Friday and Saturday nights from 11 AM-2 PM.


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